The Public Account Committee (PAC) yesterday called on Parliament to do due diligence at all times before approving emergency loans to ensure value for money.
The committee made the above pronouncement when the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development appeared before it to answer to issues raised about their finances in the 2010- 2011 Auditor General's report.
The Kwaku Agyeman Manu headed committee's call on the august House when a program under the said ministry, Second Urban Environmental Sanitation Project (UESPII), admitted using part of an emergency loan granted it to pay a Netherland consultant, to advise them on issues of repairs.
The first to raise objection about the issue was the Member of Parliament for Bosomtwe, Hon. Osei-Mensah Simon, who maintained that it was wrong for the Assembly to incur such cost, just to get a consultant to advise them on the repairs of their faulty machines.
Hon. Osei, who though did not mentioned the amount involved, disclosed that the said money could have been used to cater for other needs in the Assemblies.
The concern of the lawmaker was supported by the Deputy Ranking Member of the Committee, Hon. George Loh, who added that the practice will not only cause the state money, but will also give an unpleasant image about the nation.
"What are we saying, if I have a machine and it breaks down, I have to pay someone to come and tell me I have to repair it, it does not make sense, what are we telling the world about us", he lamented.
Another issue raised in the sittings was about the 2010 report, which disclosed that Sekondi /Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly did not record its assets, a situation Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu said was because "we are over pampering the assemblies".
The chairman argued that if the assemblies were properly monitored on how to use the monies provided them, the situation will be different.
But in response, officials from Sekondi/Takoradi, who were present, explained that the reason for not recording their assets in 2010 was due to the fact that most of the things they acquired in 2010 were basic items needed to upgrade the assembly in discharging its duty.
Some of these items, the officials said, included computers, air conditioners and calculators to upgrade the assembly.
Mr. Kwaku Agyeman Manu, however, lamented that the aforementioned items are things that the assembly should be able to acquire with their Internal Generated Fund (IGF).
On his part, the Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Baba Jamal indicated that the state of the assemblies IGF was not good enough and as such the assemblies are always compelled to use monies meant for project to upgrade their institution.
He was, however, hopeful that the recent street naming operation his ministry is embarking on would help generate more funds for the assemblies.
"Now, there are a lot of things the assemblies can't do themselves, but hopefully when we begin the street naming it will help the assemblies to stand on their own".
To this end, Hon. Baba Jamal disclosed that preparations are ongoing to consider rolling the third phase of the Urban Environmental Sanitation Project, as the second phase had been successful.